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A fond farewell and a warm welcome

A fond farewell and a warm welcome

A fond farewell and a warm welcome

Jamie FordAs I write this blog I must admit to being somewhat amazed that it's been almost two years since we appointed Anthony Vollmer CEO of Plusnet - Time certainly flies when you're having fun! Anthony took the helm towards the end of 2008 and established a period where Plusnet has made tremendous growth. We've launched a nationwide advertising campaign, our 'up to 20Mbps' broadband service, our 'easy setup' router platform, revamped all of our product offerings, provided ‘up to 40Mbps’ fibre services to a number of customers as part of our FTTC/FTTP trials, and won a number of industry accolades including 'Best Consumer Customer Service' at the recent ISPA awards. It's therefore with a certain amount of sadness when I announce that Anthony has taken the decision to leave Plusnet to pursue other opportunities within the BT Group. Anthony has been pivotal to many of our achievements over the last two years, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of us here at Plusnet Towers in thanking him for his inspiring leadership, commitment and dedication. He leaves with our very best wishes for his future endeavours. As well as saying our goodbyes to Anthony, it's time to welcome aboard our new CEO! Effective immediately, Jamie Ford will be taking the reins from Anthony. I hope you'll join us in wishing him a very warm welcome. Jamie was officially appointed CEO of Plusnet earlier this week and joins us from BT Retail where he was 'Director of Customer Experience and Business Change'. He played a key part in the 'Right First Time' programme and was responsible for identifying barriers and helping to drive customer service improvements within the BT Group. Jamie's strong focus on customer experience and his drive for results will help us build even further on what we've achieved to date.

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32 Comments
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32 Comments
Superuser
All the best with your new ventures Anyhony, and welcome Jamie. Phil
Grafter
BT digging their finger nails even deeper into Plus Net. When the name change due?
Community Veteran
Would it not have made more sense to appoint a new CEO from the people who already work at Plusnet? Whilst I approach Jamie's tenure with an open mind, I can't help but wonder how his level of experience of Plusnet's inner workings would compare with someone who's worked in the company for years.
Plusnet Help Team
Welcome aboard Jamie, looking forward to meeting you. Best wishes to Anthony too.
Rising Star
Must be very disappointing for those who have worked hard within PlusNet to grow the company to be shunted to one side once again for the appointment of yet another BT bod.
Not applicable
well said be3g. in the 2 years mr vollmer was ceo how many times did we hear from him? couple of times on the forum when we kicked up a fussy and demand he showed his face. "Jamie’s strong focus on customer experience and his drive for results will help us build even further on what we’ve achieved to date." so lets hope this ceo gets more involved with his customers. good luck in your role mr ford, hope you have a model t of a time at PN
Community Veteran
Can we expect some well-aimed kicks of BT backsides from someone who knows which ones? Many of customer Broadband problems seem to be from within BT and not PN who do seem to try their best for us. I go along with much that has been said here.
tgr
Grafter
Plus net is the best ISP i have ever used and i have been on the net for about 15 yrs. My only worry is that BT will take over completely which will really mess things up
Not applicable
It could be good it could be bad, one hopes he might LISTEN a bit more and have the courage to drop changes when the customers warn it is a wrong move on the forums. However one can't help but notice his last job title: ‘Director of Customer Experience and Business Change’. So are they planning a lot of change at Plusnet? Probably!
Not applicable
Anthony, it was a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best!
Grafter
Way too much use of the word "BT" in there, it seems a real shame that BT may just have the power and maybe the plan to spoil everything that Plusnet stands for. Many ex, disgruntled BT customers have moved to Plusnet, I wouldn't want to see BT rearing its ugly head and spoil it all over again. It would be very nice to hear what Mr Ford has to say on the matter, and to reply to some very early worries from customers. Worrying times ahead for now I think. Then I guess many of knew that BT had a claw in Plusnet when we first signed up..........we'll wait and see.
Just browsing
Perhaps I could take this opportunity to report a fault which seems to affect a few other customers of Plusnet. A line speed test today shows a speed of 1300kps and a download of a BBC podcast at 140kps. Not so much the problem but I seem to be totally ignored by the support team for four days. Perhaps they are hoping I will go away, which I will because my next door neighbour from the same telegraph pole regularly gets 850kps. Very happy with Plusnet until now. I certainly won't be earning any extra from referrals. Ah one last point, my query no is 34819619 in case you fancy looking into it.
Not applicable
@Ian, sorry to hear you're having problems, I've just taken a look at your account and replied to your support ticket.
Just browsing
Thank you Bob. The problem seems to have resolved itself. I don't need to change to KEConnect now.
Rising Star
I hope BT won't try to spoil the good work that the Plusnet team are doing here, it's not often that you encounter such good customer service. It's rather rare, in fact.
Not applicable
Let's hope a new CEO improves the appalling customer service delivered by this company.
Not applicable
@susan, i get the impression you've had a less than desirable experience with our Customer Support Centre at some point? Anything I might be able to help with?
Newbie
What I find so interesting in this post are the following phrases ALL in the same sentence .. - 'right first time' - 'helping to drive customer service improvements' - 'BT Group' Before writing this did the author ask any BT customers ?? Surely this should read the Pret group?
Grafter
"Jamie’s strong focus on customer experience and his drive for results will help us build even further on what we’ve achieved to date." So when is Jamie coming out to meet the customers? Or ask about our not so great customer service some of us are getting, from BT? Will he join the forum? Since I have never ever met a happy BT customer, nor have I ever been a happy BT customer in the past, something didn't quite work out within the BT Group? Hope this isn't a downgrade of a job for him then? Until BT can sort out the BT group, then Plusnet albeit part of that group will always have a few unhappy customers making their voices heard in public, or having to go to the forum to help them sort out their problems, normally BT related. It would be nice to see that change, and give some loyalty back to those long standing customers who suffer faults, and to bring in new customers in without giving them a bumpy ride, or making them wish they never ever wanted to sign up in the first place! Not the great impression Plusnet want! Isn’t it time to get someone in charge who can ,and has made a difference from the ground up, within Plusnet?. To have someone who stands out in public, and does whatever possible to sort out issues that in real terms, the generic customer service team at Plusnet can't sort out. It’s people like Adam, Ben, Jojo, Bob etc. (sorry to those who I can’t name and remember), that go above and beyond, have a loyalty to Plusnet and not BT, and who already have a good rapport with past, present and new signup customers. Maybe Jamie needs to go back to BT to sort things out there first before making a pretence at Plusnet? Then maybe someone within Plusnet can take charge and iron things out?
Not applicable
I have problems too. I went down from 9160 kbps connection to 7760 kbps. According to Bob Pullen I never could get such a speed ever. That was impossible. Yet my line goes up and down like a JoJo. In August a FULL MONTH !!!!!!!!!!!!! it was around and on 9000 kbps. Now it can't even stay like that for 3 days. I have been told that my line stability could not go 7300. Yet it connected for the whole MONTH OF AUGUST !!!!!!!!!!!! at 8900 to 9130 kbps. Even the profile was at 8000. This was only when I SAID GIVE THE DSLAM A KICK ! THERE WILL COME A TIME I WILL COME DOWN TO SHEFFIELD PLUSNET OFFICES !!! THEN YOU CAN LIE IT RIGHT INTO MY FACE ! SEE HOW FAR YOU WILL COME THEN ! THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH BLOOD YOU CAN GET UNDER SOMEONE's NAILS ! KJILM123
Not applicable
Result of the TEST 1 ! FAQ Test1 comprises of two tests 1. Best Effort Test: -provides background information. Download Speed 3072 Kbps 0 Kbps 500 Kbps Max Achievable Speed Download speedachieved during the test was - 3072 Kbps For your connection, the acceptable range of speedsis 100-500 Kbps. Additional Information: Your DSL Connection Rate :7780 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 732 Kbps(UP-STREAM) IP Profile for your line is - 350 Kbps The throughput of Best Efforts (BE) classes achieved during the test is - 8.74:20.15:71.12 (SBE:NBETongueBE) These figures represent the ratio while sententiously passing Sub BE, Normal BE and Priority BE marked traffic. The results of this test will vary depending on the way your ISP has decided to use these traffic classes. 2. Upstream Test: -provides background information. Upload Speed 603 Kbps 0 Kbps 732 Kbps Max Achievable Speed >Upload speed achieved during the test was - 603 Kbps Additional Information: Upstream Rate IP profile on your line is - 732 Kbps This test was not conclusive and further testing is required.This might be useful for your ISP to investigate the fault. If you wish to carry out further tests,please click on 'Continue' button.If not, please close the window using 'Exit' button and contact your ISP for further assistance with these results. Please visit FAQ section if you are unable To understand the test results.
Not applicable
Tested on PING for SPEEDTEST. Every server in my vicinity gives back over 100 Ms PING. The usual Ping is 32 or lower. IT IS CLEAR THAT IT IS NOT MY LINE THAT IS A PROBLEM !!!!!!!!!!!
Not applicable
THE RESULT OF BEING ON THE PLUSNET PORTAL ! Warning - Website Identity has NOT been verified Verification Engine displays this warning when a website's SSL certificate is invalid and cannot be authenticated or if a website is using a Low Assurance SSL certificate to secure a HTTPS or https: session. This means the owner of the website has not been validated as a LEGITIMATE BUSINESS ENTITY. (DOES THAT NOT SPEAK VOLUMES WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING LIKE THIS ?) The certificate was issued to the website without the usual checks to verify that the company is a real world organization with articles of incorporation or a valid DUNS number. Although the information passed between you and this website will be encrypted - you don't know who it is encrypted for because the entity has not been validated. Consumers wishing to pass sensitive information like credit card details to a server using a Low Assurance certificate should proceed only if they have prior reason to trust the organization listed. VerificationEngine SSLVerify technology Verification Engine uses proprietary SSLVerify technology to determine whether a website is using a high or low assurance certificate.
Not applicable
Test1 comprises of two tests 1. Best Effort Test: -provides background information. Download Speed 5837 Kbps 0 Kbps 7150 Kbps Max Achievable Speed Download speedachieved during the test was - 5837 Kbps For your connection, the acceptable range of speedsis 1000-7150 Kbps. Additional Information: Your DSL Connection Rate :7644 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 756 Kbps(UP-STREAM) IP Profile for your line is - 6500 Kbps The throughput of Best Efforts (BE) classes achieved during the test is - 17.23:24.55:58.22 (SBE:NBETongueBE) These figures represent the ratio while sententiously passing Sub BE, Normal BE and Priority BE marked traffic. The results of this test will vary depending on the way your ISP has decided to use these traffic classes. 2. Upstream Test: -provides background information. Upload Speed 618 Kbps 0 Kbps 756 Kbps Max Achievable Speed >Upload speed achieved during the test was - 618 Kbps Additional Information: Upstream Rate IP profile on your line is - 756 Kbps This test was not conclusive and further testing is required.This might be useful for your ISP to investigate the fault. If you wish to carry out further tests,please click on 'Continue' button.If not, please close the window using 'Exit' button and contact your ISP for further assistance with these results. Please visit FAQ section if you are unable To understand the test results.
Not applicable
@KJILM123, I'm sorry to hear you're having problems. I notice you've raised tickets on your account so I'll reply in more detail there, but to address some of your comments above... "I have problems too. I went down from 9160 kbps connection to 7760 kbps." Whilst it's not a huge reduction in speed (and line speed can fluctuate based on a multitude of factors), we can certainly try our best to remedy the problem. We have more control over the Dynamic Line Management tools compared to what we had access to the last time I looked into your problems. "According to Bob Pullen I never could get such a speed ever. That was impossible." Did I really say it was 'impossible'? If I'm honest, I can't remember the ins and outs of what we discussed, if you're able to link me to the forum posts in question though then I'll happily eat humble pie? "THERE WILL COME A TIME I WILL COME DOWN TO SHEFFIELD PLUSNET OFFICES !!! THEN YOU CAN LIE IT RIGHT INTO MY FACE ! SEE HOW FAR YOU WILL COME THEN ! THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH BLOOD YOU CAN GET UNDER SOMEONE's NAILS !" Come on now, I understand you're frustrated but I don't think threatening people is going to make the situation any better. Let's be civil about things shall we? "Download speedachieved during the test was - 3072 Kbps For your connection, the acceptable range of speedsis 100-500 Kbps. Additional Information: Your DSL Connection Rate :7780 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 732 Kbps(UP-STREAM) IP Profile for your line is - 350 Kbps" This doesn't make sense. Your download speed is higher than your IP Profile. I strongly suspect there's something wrong with the BT Speedtester as it's not the first example I've seen - http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,88674.msg738951.html#msg738951 "Every server in my vicinity gives back over 100 Ms PING. The usual Ping is 32 or lower. IT IS CLEAR THAT IT IS NOT MY LINE THAT IS A PROBLEM !!!!!!!!!!!" It can quite easily still be a line fault. The fact that a speedtester shows inflated pings does not provide evidence to the contrary. "THE RESULT OF BEING ON THE PLUSNET PORTAL ! Warning - Website Identity has NOT been verified Verification Engine displays this warning when a website's SSL certificate is invalid and cannot be authenticated or if a website is using a Low Assurance SSL certificate to secure a HTTPS or https: session." Where did you get that error from and what application were you using? We recently replaced all of our SSL certs and I've no reason to believe there's anything wrong with them? Anyway, as mentioned above I'll take a look at your open support tickets and continue the discussion there...
Not applicable
To Bob Pullen Why is it Bob that when it is getting better, it is getting worse. Ofcourse I am frustrated, because enough it enough. I am tired of the excuses, tired of the things that I have to do to get it right. Nothing has changed. Everything is still the same. It is been looked at by a BT Engineer and cannot fault it. So what are you trying to say and your colleagues when they try to let me jump hoops for the sake of stretching it to oblivion. I am not anyone's puppet and from now on I am cutting the strings from your puppeteers up there in Sheffield. I can almost hear the sneers from over there when they sit behind the keyboard regarding this and type these things. As I said enough is enough. If you want to do it civilized then stop letting me doing things that I have done over 100 times and it does not make any difference. If it can't increase without any help from anyone, why is it that it cannot stay as it is ? Simple question. You say, oh Fluctuation this, Fluctuation that. Everytime there is another excuse. I think you think or anyone else down there in Sheffield that I am little child or something and keep me quiet with another hoop to jump. No more, you hear ! Whatever is wrong with the BT speedtester is NOT my concern. Your colleagues want me to go there. If that is all they offer to me, then do no say anything about the results that come out of it, if I am asked for the hundredth of time to do this thing. FYI I cannot go to the Forum, STRAT IS THE ONE THAT LOCKED ME OUT THERE ! I am sorry but I have not a grain respect for him whatsoever. His way of answering in that is to ban me for "48 hours" what now is 6 months now. Is he expecting me to grovel for him because he is disrespectful and manipulating to me as well ? The same counts for Barry Zubel. FYI I have a problem, the problem lies at PLUSNET with my speed, simply because it was better in AUGUST 2010. No matter amount of stories that anyone hangs up towards me will do anymore. I have had it ! I am fed up about them and I don't find it funny AT ALL ! Time to deliver. That is all. KJ From the Verification Engine of Comodo @ www.comodo.com
Not applicable
@KJILM123, I've now replied to your open support tickets. I'd suggest we continue discussing your speed complaints via that avenue as opposed to here on an open forum where I have to be careful what account information I disclose.
Not applicable
Hello Bob, I cannot log in to the portal to go to tickets and write it there, so I have to do it here. To answer you: I was logging in with IE8 with theVerification Engine program of Comodo Installed. It gave a me a RED LOCK instead of a GREEN LOCK, when I clicked it, it gave that message and I copied and pasted it for everyone to see at Plusnet. You can find the product @ www.comodo.com Verification Engine. It will give you the security to know if a website is safe or not. If the website is safe it will show a green banner and a green lock around the browser and the word Verified in it. Just like Verisign and Thawte does. If it is not so it will give a red banner and a red lock which warns you the website is not safe as https:// . The message in it tells you then what the problem is and can tell you that it believes it is not a genuine company that is operating under that website and deems the website a rogue website. It was a plain login, me as a user when the flag was coming up. If you need further information you have to liaise with Comodo and ask them why your portal is not compliant with the certificates that are applied with the Verification Engine. It is not the first time I have seen this, in the past and even up to a few years ago I have also seen that certain pages on the portal were not safe and the certificates not warranted by the browsers as being safe or even passed by date. I cannot remember which page of the portal I was on to, because I was already seething in anger because of the speed problems that I have again. So I can't remember where. While things were getting better regarding speed and I even said that I was sort of pleased with it and a few days later is goes like a JoJo. Up down, up down. Disconnect at different times. While everything was stable for the month of August with the same speeds. No disconnection then on a Friday night or so. After the issues that occurred a few months ago on the forum, I kept myself quiet and let it be. In the mean time, I have been writing to the Prime Minister Cameron and Downing Street No. 10 about the appalling way our country compared is to other countries regarding broadband for the generic costumer. While we only can have high speed if we are a premium customer and pay a 100 pounds per month for a leased line for guaranteed 2 mb/s line. They are looking into it. I expect an improvement one day. During the month of August the speed was increasing, from what it is now to 8900 to 9130. So I thought we are gettin', gettin' there. When it dropped again I contacted Plusnet and asked them to explain to me what now again is the problem. When I was told another story of the many that are there, I got really angry. It is already been at a boiling point a few months ago. Since then I have had to do the same silly things over and over again. So, I called BT engineering and discussed with them what I encountered. They said that they would do a line test and you can see that in the other Ticket. The Test was done on 31st of August 2010 with the Ticket number VOL011-38088444680. The result of the test was that the line was OK. I have heard that before a few years ago, while my line from the pole to my eaves was cracked and showed a big rusty deposit on it. This was after I complained there was a crackling sound on my line what was not going way. They replaced it then. Secondly while I was talking to the Engineer that did the test found that since I had a very low SNR between 3 and 5.7 I should have a higher speed than it was reporting from the modem regarding my distance from the Exchange. I agreed totally and completely with him about this. After all some others who are in my neighbourhood who are also with Plusnet having a higher speed. From 10 to 13 mbps This was evident also during the month of August where I did have a higher speed. I had also reported to one of your colleagues that I wanted my profile to be upped to 8000 and he said he would do that, since the profile was sitting on 6000 all the time and not moving (I was always told that my profle would adjust by itselves when the connection speed went up) and my connection speed was 9000, so I was saying to him, give the DSLAM a "kick" and it will be ok. It was evident that this was done, because I checked my profile shortly after that and it was on 8000. Now I am back to 6500. So speed was finally increasing to my surprise. Things were a lot more responsive and lot more workable. I thought HA ! finally things are looking up. From here on it only can get better since by every reconnection of the modem it went up and up. However the joy was short lived. It just came crashing down again. I did do a peek on the Forum and I still cannot log in, I saw that the complaints are still the same regarding speed issues. You know that I know and that everyone knows that it is not GOOD with Plusnet regarding that. The complaints are still the same, which is not surprisingly so. One thing I notice now that ADSL upto 20 Meg has become a "clique science" instead of a product that lives up to it's promises when it was introduced. Does it not bother you sitting behind a desk and computer that you have to disappoint the customers with all kinds of tricks, stories, hoops to jump, instead of just been able to deliver as sold. We all know what the reason is, right. Yet we find it funny and entertaining when we can let the customers jump to our "science" of ADSL gobbledigook which sounds to weighty from the Techies that be. I am the least interested of how things must be or have to work. I buy a product and if the product does not perform, conform or work as it is designed for. You bring it back, replace it or ask your money back or go somewhere else. In the broadband industry we think that we still can fob the customer off with a "nice" story that sounds like some technical gibberish which might be the problem of your problem. Yet there is no guarantee that is true. So we just say it because we can. I mean how long can you keep up with such a way of doing ? I have understood that my green BT box has been upgraded down two streets from where I live, so there cannot be any other excuse anymore when the infrastructure has been improved. FTTC has been promised in December in SOUTHALL exchange so I expect that things should be in place by now so that we can get it right. But I recur....... Until sofar, I am not impressed with it at all. It still is a dog with 3 legs that cannot run. Hyped and praised into heaven because of it numbers but no delivery. I am NOT a person that backs down about some hurdles that stand in front of me. But when it is for the common good, why is it that telling porkies to customers is the life in the society to keep them happy ? I am the wrong man for that and if I need to stand up I will do so. But I expect it to come from both ways and not from one way only. I am sick and tired of being philosophical about a broadband connection. It is time to deliver. No more excuses. No more Puppeteer antics for me or any other customer. Let's make it as it should be, shall we, instead of hiding behind a banner of a company and JUST have a job. Yours sincerely, Martin
Not applicable
Thanks for that Martin, I'll look into the SSL errors being reported by Comodo. "I cannot log in to the portal to go to tickets and write it there, so I have to do it here." Guessing that's something to do with a problem we had with one of our core databases this morning. Should be sorted now. Have you seen my response to ticket 34841246? If so can you try logging in again and replying to the ticket so that we can start trying to fix your speed issues? "I did do a peek on the Forum and I still cannot log in, I saw that the complaints are still the same regarding speed issues. You know that I know and that everyone knows that it is not GOOD with Plusnet regarding that. The complaints are still the same, which is not surprisingly so." There are *always* going to be speed complaints due to the nature of the underlying technology. Similarly, people don't tend to post in the forums to say that everything's hunky dory! Wink I'll keep an eye on your account and await your reply. Let me know if you're still having problems logging into the website. Rgds, Bob.
Grafter
In all seriousness I strongly suggest that the first order of business for any new CEO shout be to look at the core business activities and ensure that the company is performing its core function. Sadly a quick look on the forums will tell you there is something seriously rotten in Plusnet, as time and again you see problems bouncing back and forth for months without resolution. I sadly empathise with KJILM123, as I have had broadband speed issues for 4 weeks now with no progress. In fact the more my problem is "Investigated" the worse the problem gets. When I logged the call with support I had 2mb, now I have 0.6mb. Time and again I ask the support desk the simple question. Are you able to provide me with broadband, yes or no? A simple question, and after 4 weeks I have my own answer. Plusnet your customer service is appalling, and your ability to resolve problems laughable. I guess now you're BT in all but name, the people who helped make you so popular in the first place, your customers, are merely an inconvenience. Just be honest and answer my question? Can you provide broadband to your customers or not? Darrell.
npd
Not applicable
i agree , what a terrible company ! i've got some of the same problems , with the supply and with plusnet staff ! still waiting for complaints to get back to me ! 0.6 -0.11 Mb and plusnet staff ..... i'm leaving !
Not applicable
Nicholas, sorry to hear you're having problems. Have you a recent support ticket reference or similar so that I can take a look and see if there's anything I can do to help?